The original ‘Renaissance Man’ was Leonardo DaVinci – a man who was as learned in the arts and painting as he was in math, science and invention.
He recognized them all to be creative endeavours in their own way, and considered this well-rounded approach to be crucial to unlocking his talents in each individual field.
The Waldorf Academy Toronto also considers the arts to be as important to students’ education as the maths and sciences.
Read on to learn more about our approach to arts education.
Art At Waldorf Academy Toronto
As a Toronto private middle school, our families expect us to ensure their children have a high-level education that considers all subjects important for turning out successful adults.
For instance, we incorporate a play into every year, for the value it brings to our students.
We also spend a great deal of time – especially in the young years – doing crafts, artwork and engaging them with storytelling (the precursor to literature and plays).
Benefits Of Arts Education
There have been many studies that show the quantifiable benefits of the arts, such as painting, drama, music, sculpture, and other visual arts.
Here are five primary reasons we consider the arts so important for our students.
1. Improves Academic Performance
Researchers have found that the arts-rich high schools produce more successful students, both in academic achievement and advancement.
Students in this survey with an arts education in high school resulted in almost twice as many university degrees, and had half again as many students graduate high school with mostly As and Bs.
Academic performance in turn resulted in a higher quality of employment after graduation (for instance, finding a career rather than a job), political participation and volunteering and giving back.
2. Improves Literary Skills
In another study, it was shown that students who participated in an arts program improved in six separate categories of literacy skills.
Critical thinking skills that are important to literacy were also improved, including description, hypothesizing and reasoning.
Simply having a discussion about works of art allow children to question both their experience and their understanding, leading to more complex thinking and better vocabulary as they search to explain their perspective.
3. Improves Creativity
It might seem obvious, but a focus on the arts does improve a child’s creativity; like any other skill, it improves through regular practice, and children are generally happy to practice drawing, singing and acting.
This is important because creativity comes into life a lot as adults, far more than people may think. For instance, it’s crucial for problem-solving; and good problem solvers are creative people.
Although it lacks the technical knowledge of the sciences and math, art is an important precursor to learning those skills, as the creativity they learn allows them to solve more complex challenges.
4. Improves Confidence
Children who are exposed to the arts have an easier time expressing themselves, and can do so more clearly than those not exposed to art and literature.
As well, those who get involved in music or theatre practice performing onstage.
When they discover what they’re able to accomplish in that kind of a high-stress situation, it gives them a confidence boost the next time they’re feeling unsure of themselves.
5. Improves Decision Making
Bringing art into a school curriculum fills in the gaps for a child, and allows them to see the big picture.
Researchers report that children better understand the consequences that are a result of their actions, and that leads them to better decisions in the first place.
Contact Waldorf Academy
Call now to visit Waldorf Academy, a Toronto Waldorf school, with your child.
We’ll be happy to show you the caliber of our arts-centred program, and share with you the impressive results it brings to the rest of their subjects.